Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the process the District uses to determine the instructional calendar?
A District of Innovation committee consisting of campus teachers, administrator representatives, parents, and community members develop several draft instructional calendars based on staff, parent, and community priorities. Campus staff, parents, and community members are provided the opportunity to individually submit feedback on the proposed calendar. The DOI committee reviews the data to determine if any changes need to be made as a result of community feedback. The DOI is made up of campus, community, and business representatives from the Bullard area. The recommended instructional calendar is then presented to the school board. The school board members receive the recommendation and consider approval.
2. How many instructional school days are required?
Texas Education Code requires districts provide at least 75,600 minutes of instruction, therefore the number of days in a school calendar is dependent on the length of the school day. The length of the shortest school day in BISD is 450 minutes. To provide early release on the final days of each semester and to avoid minutes having to be added to the school year in the event of a weather-related school closure, BISD requires 173 instructional school days.
3. How many days are teachers required to be in attendance?
Texas Education Code requires that teachers employed under a 10 month contract provide 187 days of service. BISD teachers are issued 187-day contracts and the instructional calendar reflects the designated days that teachers are expected to be in attendance with the inclusion of inservice and comp days.
4. How is the first day of instruction determined?
Texas Education Code restricts a school district from beginning instruction for students for a school year before the fourth Monday in August. However, Texas Education Code also provides districts with access to flexibilities through the adoption of a District of Innovation Plan that includes exemptions to most of the same state laws that are not applicable to open enrollment charter schools, including uniform school start date. BISD is in the process of developing a District of Innovation Plan that includes this exemption for the purpose of better meeting the local needs of our students and priorities of our community. The proposed guidelines would determine BISD would not start prior to the 3rd Monday in August and will end no later than first Friday in June. The proposed instructional calendars are developed with this information in mind.
5. What is the benefits to a 9 week grading period in place of a 6 week period?
The advantages of a 9 week grading system provides a focus on student achievement and allows our students more time to master the material through innovative and engaging learning experiences. It also allows teachers more time to teach difficult and complex concepts because less time is spent compiling grades. This move is in the best interest of students, especially those who need extra time to master a concept before the end of a grading period. The 9 week grading system still provides two progress reports before a final grade is issued for a class. This allows teachers to have more graded assignments in each grading period as well as gives students additional time to improve a grade before it becomes permanent. Parents will still receive grade reports every 3 weeks, however we encourage parents to monitor student progress through Skyward on a daily basis. Regarding extracurricular eligibility, the system provides additional flexibility; after the first 9 week period, students may become ineligible for extracurricular activities only every 9 weeks, however may still earn back lost eligibility at every 3 week progress report.
6. Why were Student Holidays/Inservice days placed on Oct 23, Jan 8, and Mar 19?
These three days are inservice days which means teachers at work for staff development while students are on holiday. This allows time for teachers to collaborate and plan instructional strategies to ensure high quality teaching for student success.
7. When will the final decision on the instructional calendar be made?
The recommended instructional calendar will be presented to the school board at their April meeting. Should the school board approve the instructional calendar at that time, the decision will be considered final, pending approval of the District of Innovation Plan. The school board will consider approval of the District of Innovation Plan at their April or May board meeting. If not approved, the instructional calendar will be adjusted at that time.